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Dinosaurs had fleas too _ giant ones, fossils show
AP ^ | Feb 29, 1:16 PM EST | SETH BORENSTEIN 
AP Science Writer

Posted on 02/29/2012 11:22:44 AM PST by null and void

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the Jurassic era, even the flea was a beast, compared to its minuscule modern descendants. These pesky bloodsuckers were nearly an inch long.

New fossils found in China are evidence of the oldest fleas - from 125 million to 165 million years ago, said Diying Huang of the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology. Their disproportionately long proboscis, or straw-like mouth, had sharp weapon-like serrated edges that helped them bite and feed from their super-sized hosts


AP Photo/D. Huang

But Engel said it's not just the size that was impressive about the nine flea fossils. It was their fearsome beak capable of sticking into and sucking blood from the hides of dinosaurs

These flea beaks "had almost like a saw running down the side," Engel said. "This thing was packing a weapon. They were equipped to dig into something."

Just finding the fleas was a stroke of luck, He first found one in a Chinese fossil market and mentioned it to someone at his hotel. The other guest showed him a photo of another fossilized flea, telling him it was from Daohugou in northeastern China. Huang went there and found fleas preserved in a brownish film of volcanic ash. The grains of rock were so fine you could see antennae and other details of the fleas, he said.

It shouldn't seem too surprising that there were large fleas more than 100 million years ago. If you go back even farther in time, ancestors of dragonflies and damsel flies had 3-foot wingspans, Engel said.

(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: china; dinosaur; dinosaurs; fleazilla; godsgravesglyphs; jurassic; paleontology
Bigger fleas have lesser fleas upon their backs that bite 'em and lesser fleas have smaller fleas and so on ad infinitum.
1 posted on 02/29/2012 11:22:46 AM PST by null and void
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To: null and void

We have our own giant bloodsuckers in this day and age...they’re called “Democrats”


2 posted on 02/29/2012 11:25:51 AM PST by JRios1968 (I'm guttery and trashy, with a hint of lemon. - Laz)
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To: null and void

Giant fleas are proof that Democrats evolved from insects. The one pictured could be a twin for Nancy Pelosi.


3 posted on 02/29/2012 11:26:49 AM PST by Enterprise ("Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire)
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To: null and void

Not exactly the first story I thought I would read today and find so interesting. Thanks.


4 posted on 02/29/2012 11:39:02 AM PST by Daaave ("Time is passin', I grow older, things are happening fast")
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To: null and void

Wow fleas the size of VW’s. Don’t need weed for that trip.


5 posted on 02/29/2012 11:42:43 AM PST by duckman (Go Newt...)
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To: null and void

Which came first? The dinosaur or the flea?


6 posted on 02/29/2012 11:46:28 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: null and void

Dog’s worst nightmare.


7 posted on 02/29/2012 11:51:54 AM PST by Gasshog (going to get what all those libs asked for, but its not what they expected.)
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To: Gasshog
"Dog’s worst nightmare."

With fleas that big, you wouldn't need dogs. Just keep the fleas as pets...

8 posted on 02/29/2012 11:54:22 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: null and void

“If you go back even farther in time, ancestors of dragonflies and damsel flies had 3-foot wingspans, Engel said.”

Apparently what happened is that they started to marry and breed beneath their station.


9 posted on 02/29/2012 11:56:55 AM PST by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: null and void

Dinosaurs are gone , but the fleas are still here. A clue here as to why democrats are still around.


10 posted on 02/29/2012 12:05:22 PM PST by Nateman (If liberals are not screaming you are doing it wrong!)
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To: Nateman

11 posted on 02/29/2012 12:26:47 PM PST by null and void (Day 1134 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: Nateman
A clue here as to why democrats are still around.

Does it involve the word 'pest'?

12 posted on 02/29/2012 12:30:02 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: UCANSEE2

Close. Parasites have staying power!


13 posted on 02/29/2012 1:58:12 PM PST by Nateman (If liberals are not screaming you are doing it wrong!)
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To: JRios1968

14 posted on 02/29/2012 1:58:57 PM PST by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: Renfield; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks null and void. To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


15 posted on 03/02/2012 5:10:14 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: null and void

And the great fleas, themselves, in turn
Have greater fleas to go on;
While these again have greater still,
And greater still, and so on.


16 posted on 03/02/2012 6:34:01 PM PST by Bernard Marx
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To: Bernard Marx

Excellent!


17 posted on 03/02/2012 6:51:45 PM PST by null and void (Day 1136 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: null and void

This brings up all sorts of new questions for paleontologists to argue about.

Wouldn’t dinosaurs have to have dinosaur hair, fur or feathers for the fleas to cling to, lay their eggs and to hide in?

Did dinosaurs scratch or were they too tough to bother with flea bites?


18 posted on 03/03/2012 7:38:56 AM PST by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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To: wildbill
Another dinoflea photo:


Male flea from the Early Cretaceous. In the Jurassic era, even the measly flea was a beast. It was a super-sized bloodsucker that feasted on dinosaurs with a saw-like siphon. (AP Photo/D. Huang, Nature)

19 posted on 03/06/2012 8:24:59 AM PST by null and void (Day 1141 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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To: JRios1968
Those fleabaggers were not as big as the bloodsucking parasites we have today.


20 posted on 03/06/2012 8:30:02 AM PST by JediJones (The Divided States of Obama's Declaration of Dependence: Death, Taxes and the Pursuit of Crappiness)
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To: null and void
It shouldn't seem too surprising that there were large fleas more than 100 million years ago. If you go back even farther in time, ancestors of dragonflies and damsel flies had 3-foot wingspans, Engel said.

Insects do not have lungs. Reparation is accomplished using trachial tubes, which sets an upper limit on the size of an insect. For these giant insects to get enough oxygen, it implies that the Jurassic period had a more oxygen-rich atmosphere than today.

21 posted on 03/06/2012 9:02:08 AM PST by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: PapaBear3625

It does make one wonder just how much of the atmosphere a Chicxulub sized asteroid impact can blow off into space...


22 posted on 03/06/2012 9:37:59 AM PST by null and void (Day 1141 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
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